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Monday, April 06, 2009


A follow up to the Dateline special on the HAFC

One of the people that Dateline interviewed was Eric Kreig, a critic of these sorts of hydrogen generators who's even more vocal than I am. I had read his site in the past, and I'm pretty sure I've even quoted from it (Evidently it wasn't on this blog, though). But I couldn't find it in time for yesterday's post. Well, here's Eric Kreig's page on Dennis Lee and hydrogen generators. Check it out.

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Sunday, April 05, 2009


Chris Hansen goes after HHO scammer

Tonight's episode of Dateline caught my attention. This time, they were going after something I've often gone after on this blog, the claim that putting a hydrogen generator on a car can boost its gas mileage. Their target was the HAFC system, peddled by convicted felon Dennis Lee. His system sells for around $1,000, with installation being equally pricey - or even more expensive. That's a pretty high price for an HHO generator - someone like Ozzy Freedom can get you the same whole lot of nothing for a whole lot less something.

You can read the whole episode write-up here. What I found especially interesting was that they tested the system at an EPA certified lab using the federal mileage tests. This is the very first time I've seen anyone do this, and as far as I've been able to tell, it may even be the first time anyone's ever subject an HHO generator system to one of these, with surprisng results. No, the surprise wasn't that the generator improved things. It got the exact same results before and after the installation. But then they turned the system off and retested the car - and it got better mileage than before. It sounds like the guys who did the installation also made some sort of tweak to the car, most likely running a thinner grade of oil, that produced a real improvement. And then the hydrogen generator caused the car to run less efficiently and canceled out their real gains. Although I'm not sure if the gains were more than the test device's margin of error.

Their "What's in the kit?" video, which wasn't shown on the air, is one I found particularly interesting. One, he's combined the hydrogen generator with a gas mileage magnet - I doubt that would be any more effective than the one the EPA tested in that link. The electronic box caught my eye, since it's very similar looking to a MegaSquirt, but a closer look showed it seemed to just be something else that used an off the shelf aluminum case. One other thing about the kit seemed pretty telling - that appears to be a sort of cheap PVC-based hose that isn't rated for underhood temperatures. That might explain why he commented it was pretty leak prone...

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Saturday, April 04, 2009


Civic Disobedience II: Revenge of the P28

I didn't much like the original Civic Disobedience, and predictably, the sequel wasn't very fun either. But at least this time it was a low budget sequel. It started a week ago when I was leaving work. The engine turned over but wouldn't fire up, and then the Check Engine light came on. Then I smelled smoke. Coming from inside the car. The ECU was giving off a pretty good smoke show. More smoke than the time the Triumph Spitfire had an electrical fire, in fact.

So I unplugged the ECU and drove my truck home (I keep it there for junkyard runs and such). Went to a local junkyard and found a replacement Honda ECU for arund $100, about what they go for on typical Honda forums. I was kind of worried something else had shorted in the wiring and fried the ECU, but it turned out the wiring was fine. An ECU autopsy showed the cause of death seemed to have been a capacitor in the power supply having shorted out. I know what you may have been thinking, but I haven't made any changes to the stock wiring harness other than bypassing a faulty clutch switch. Ok, so I did put an Innovate LC-1 and a digital gauge on the Civic... but I didn't change any of the stock wires to do this. Honda makes it pretty easy to add circuits, as there's several connections on the fuse box put there for add on devices that you can hook up with a spade terminal.


Friday, April 03, 2009


Horsing around at work: Nova "blower" installation

Usually I don't post that much about what goes on at work, but this time I'll make an exception. Yesterday morning, Jerry had finished up tuning a 350-powered, Megasquirt-II equipped Chevy Nova that's going to feature in our book on EFI. So we had the Nova strapped to the dyno, a little bit of uncommitted time... and a high powered leaf blower we'd been using to clean up the parking lot yesterday. You know how sometimes you know something may be a crazy idea, but you can't pass up trying? Well, this was one of them.

Leaf blower dyno test

I was kind of surprised at the results. Then again, it was a pretty big leaf blower. The hose running to the intake actually puffed up visibly when you gave the blower full throttle.

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